Monday, October 14, 2019

Entries for 'Jim Kirkpatrick'

Our quick tip series so far has covered monitoring, reinforcing and encouraging employees. Today, we look at the final major piece of the required driver package- rewarding.

As it relates to training and performance, a broad view of the concept of rewards is often beneficial so you are not beholden to financial realities of a volatile economy or budget.

On the formal and extrinsic level, obtain confirmation from managers and perhaps Human Resources during the program design phase that existing reward systems are compatible with what training graduates will be asked to do on the job. 

For example, you would not want to train sales professionals to follow a set call schedule and a sales call outline, but then allow them to earn a bonus even if they do not adhere to the schedule and the script. Doing so sends an overall message that the critical behaviors are not critical at all; they are optional. 

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The first quick tip in this series described the importance of monitoring critical on-the-job behaviors of training graduates to make sure they are occurring and being done correctly.

Monitoring is often seen as something akin to "big brother watching over us" or "micromanaging." Well, that is no reason not to do it. It must be done or Level 4 Results will be in serious jeopardy. Thankfully, however, the Kirkpatrick Model also includes three other types of required drivers.

The first group of required drivers in the support category consists of methods of reinforcement. These are items that remind training graduates of what they are supposed to do, and provide additional training and guidance, if needed. 

Many of these reinforcement methods can be designed and built in advance of training, such as job aids, reminders, refreshers and on-the-job modules. Reinforcing is a category in which training likely performs the key role. 

In the reinforcing category, technology can actually be a plus and feel more personal than one would expect. For example, after our own programs, we have a series of follow-up messages that can be scheduled to launch automatically via email once per week. In these messages, we reference what graduates might want to consider at that time, give them links to more information and invite them to contact us with questions or comments. Often, participants view these as personal messages from us and take them as opportunities to reconnect with us. 

Let's have a look at what we do at Kirkpatrick Partners to reinforce the application of critical behaviors. 

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Beginning in 2007, during the early development of Kirkpatrick Partners, plans and actions were drafted to ensure the maximization of both Levels 3 and 4. This still occurs today with continuous evaluation and improvement. 

Required drivers are defined as processes and systems that reinforce, monitor, encourage or reward performance of critical behaviors on the job. For this week and the weeks following, we will look at each of these four components of the Level 3 required driver package from within Kirkpatrick Partners. The purpose is to help every employee and organization to be successful.

We begin our series with Monitoring. Like we discuss in our new book, Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Training Evaluation, monitoring is all about accountability. If there is no system of accountability in place after training, even those with good intentions will give up or wander back to the way they used to do things. People are conditioned by the fact that organizations monitor and report on what they think is important, such as sales, profitability, customer retention, employee turnover, defective rate, scrap or waste, market share, etc.

Now, let's look at the practices inside of Kirkpatrick Partners.

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Wendy and I are back in the office after an exciting time in Denver for the annual ATD International Conference and Expo. This was my 15th year attending and presenting. During my few minutes of reflection on the 3 days we spent in Denver, I am reminded that each of those years had its own unique flavor. 2016 was my second favorite behind 2011, which featured my dad's farewell to friends at ATD and the L&D world.

What made this one special was the soft launch of our new book, Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Training Evaluation. The book was only made available to conference attendees, and will not be offered to the general public until October 2016. From my vantage point, it was not a soft launch at all. First, the sales of our book may have set a conference record, selling more copies than those of keynote presenters. Second, the foreign rights manager is working towards having the book translated into eight languages by the end of the year. No other Kirkpatrick book has been available in so many different languages.

For those of you who really know Kirkpatrick, you know that numbers are only part of a story. What encourages us the most was the collective passion of the book contributors. They shared their own stories of success during concurrent sessions and at an evening reception.

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May 9, 2016 will mark two years since Don's passing. It is still hard.

It is also good. I still hear his words of guidance and encouragement when I re-read articles he wrote or view videos of him teaching. I am still reminded of who he was when I look at his picture in my office, or put his final birthday card to me on our mantle, or when I fish in a trout stream in his beloved Wisconsin. 

Those are my private memories, but I do have something that might interest you, something that he intended to be for you.

In his final days, I sat with him with a pen and paper and asked him what he wanted to say to you -- his precious, final words about his four levels. Wendy and I took his words and included them as part of the foreword of our new book, Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Training Evaluation, published by ATD Press. Here is an excerpt:

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Kirkpatrick Levels 3 and 4 have intimidated training professionals for decades. Some think they have cracked the code with a highly standardized 90-day post-training survey, but this is not adequate and could even be counterproductive. Others think that 360-degree surveys are the key, but this is not a complete solution either. 

The time for being intimidated is over. Getting to Kirkpatrick Levels 3 and 4 is not as difficult, time-consuming or expensive as many believe. Our first tip to conquer this challenge is to remember that the end is the beginning. 




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One morning while on vacation, Wendy and I went through the resort's buffet line for breakfast. We got our food, set it down at a table by the pool and then left the table for about four minutes to get our beverages and talk to a fellow guest. 

When we returned, our breakfast was being ravaged by local birds. Eggs, potatoes, bread and fruit were being eaten, tossed about and generally destroyed. Other guests were sitting nearby, but they were unconcerned and not trying to protect our food. 

A metaphor formed before our eyes. Similar to how Wendy and I did not protect our food, many organizations do little or nothing to protect their training investments.

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While on vacation recently, Wendy and I were having a mid-afternoon snack when this guy sat down with us. He introduced himself as Gary and said he was on the staff of the place where we were staying. Gary was friendly yet considerate of ‘not overstaying his welcome’ as we talked about the food, weather and island activities.

Later that day, he was at the entrance of the dining room greeting guests as they came for dinner (see photo). At the end of the evening, the staff put on a show for the guests. Guess who was in the show dressed up in a goofy outfit and even singing a song? You guessed it, Gary.

You may wonder how one gets such a neat job as this. You may also wonder just what Gary’s job is. Is he their public relations manager? Is he on the entertainment team? Perhaps he is in sales and marketing?

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